Date announced for this year’s Summer Streets festival

Last year's Summer Streets festival
Last year's Summer Streets festival
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Organisers of free music festival Summer Streets have announced it will return to the city on Saturday, July 15.

Last year, the family-friendly festival attracted 8,000 people to Thompson Park in Southwick to enjoy music from the likes of headliners Field Music, Royal Northern Sinfonia and The Cornshed Sisters.

The line-up for the music spectacular, which will run for one day instead of two this year, hasn’t been announced yet, but organiser Ross Millard says festival-goers can expect a colourful spectrum of music.

Musician Ross, who performs in The Futureheads and Frankie & the Heartstrings, said: “Our programme will be packed with the usual wide variety of music genres, and we’re also planning to make this year’s Summer Streets particularly ‘hands-on’ so there’ll be an interesting range of opportunities for people to try something new or pick up an old hobby.

“One of the programmes we’ve already confirmed is West African drumming sessions working with the Parker Trust from Pallion.”

He added: “It’s always been an inclusive, family-friendly event and there will be lots happening – all centred on music. We’re still working on the line-up, but it will be the usual mix of local performers with some national and international artists. The programme will start at 12.30pm - although there will be no parade this year - and it will go on to about 7.30pm.”

Now in its fourth year, Summer Streets is funded by the Cultural Spring, Arts Council England’s Grants for the Arts scheme, Sunderland Music, Arts and Culture (MAC) Trust and Sunderland Music Education Hub.

Highlights will also include food and drink stalls and stand-up comedy for children.

Ross added: “There’ll be three stages again this year and an area for our workshops. Participatory community programmes leading up to Summer Streets will start in local communities soon.”

Summer Streets is part of The Cultural Spring’s aim to boost participation in arts on Wearside and Tyneside.

Emma Horsman, project director of the Cultural Spring, said: “We’re delighted to be supporting Summer Streets once again – it has become a major event on Sunderland’s cultural calendar. Thompson Park is the perfect venue for the festival and we’re hoping people in Sunderland and South Tyneside will support what is a great musical treat for local communities.”